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Response to the Family of Manuel Ellis

A Statement From Mayor Victoria Woodards in Response to the Family of Manuel Ellis


June 4, 2020



Tanisha Jumper, Media and Communications, tjumper@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5152
Maria Lee, Media and Communications, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054


A Statement From Mayor Victoria Woodards in Response to the Family of Manuel Ellis

We watched Manuel Ellis' family deliver a powerful message in today’s news conference. We heard their call for a thorough and independent investigation and their desire to involve the State of Washington in ensuring it. We also heard their desire to see action taken, and their moving appeal to speak about their loved one’s life and death while in police custody with humanity and truth. I plan to deliver.

I join with Governor Jay Inslee in vowing that we are determined to have a full, complete and independent investigation into the death of Manuel Ellis. Nothing less is acceptable, and I plan to discuss this further on Friday with the City Council. 

African-American residents across our city and our nation know that losses of life in police custody are a traumatic but common occurrence. To have lasting change, and to try to ensure that other families will not experience a tragedy like this, we must review and then consider reform of our justice system’s standards, policies and procedures.

If a man dies in custody and everything has been done to standard, we must question those standards.

Our hard work has only begun, and I know there are many questions still to answer and voices to hear.

Today, Manuel Ellis' family spoke. We are listening.